IHC warns PM of legal consequences in missing Baloch students case

IHC suspends notifications

ISLAMABAD: In a crucial development, Islamabad High Court (IHC) has issued a stern warning, asserting that if the missing Baloch students are not recovered in the next hearing, a case will be registered against the prime minister, the interior minister and secretaries of defence and interior, potentially leading to their dismissal.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq failed to appear before the IHC, as ordered, in the case concerning the recovery of Baloch students.

The court was hearing the implementation of recommendations from the Baloch Students Recovery Commission, with caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti, Caretaker Human Rights Minister Khalil George, and families of missing Baloch persons present in the court.

A total of 69 students were reported missing, and the Attorney General explained that the prime minister could not appear due to being abroad. He reported that 22 Baloch students had been recovered, but 28 remained missing, assuring the court of ongoing efforts for their recovery.

IHC judge Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani emphasized the matter’s gravity, stating it pertains to fundamental rights and involves the heart of Pakistan. He questioned the accountability of state institutions and inquired about potential involvement of agencies.

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Expressing concern over the administration’s actions in Balochistan, Justice Kayani pointed out the need for a thorough investigation into cases of enforced disappearances. He urged the caretaker government to resolve these cases promptly and hold accountable any responsible state institution.

The court ordered the government to provide details of all missing persons to the interior ministry’s appointed focal person on the issue. Emotional testimonies were seen in the court, including that of a sister of a missing Baloch person who lamented the lack of progress and accountability over the years.

Justice Kayani issued a clear warning that if the missing persons are not recovered by the next hearing, he will order a case against the prime minister, the interior minister, and secretaries of defence and interior and they all will go home.

The caretaker interior minister assured the court of meeting one of the affected individuals within two days and extending an invitation for dinner, aiming to address the concerns raised during the hearing.

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